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How to Witness to a Loved One (Way of the Master)

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How to Witness to a Loved One is the title of the ninth episode from season two of Way of the Master. The episode first takes place by a fireside and we get the impression that Ray and Kirk are at home.

Introduction

Ray says he has preached to some of the hardest people, gang members, cult members, atheists, people of false religions, but what they are studying now is harder than any of that. Ray would rather preach to a room with 10,000 angry atheists than preach to his mother.

Most atheists are far more decent than gang members, presumably Ray means criminal gang members. Further as usual Ray and Kirk assume that Christianity is true and other beliefs are false without giving any evidence.

Ray then tells us how he grew up in a “Non-Christian” family and how tears were literally streaming down his face when he thought about how we are all going to die. Six months later he had convinced himself that he was saved but wanted to save his family as well.

Ray does not explain what he means by a “Non-Christian”, he seems to mean someone who is not buying Ray’s literature and giving Ray donations is not “saved” by Ray’s complicated and controversial system.

Witnessing to adults

Ray and Kirk explain how they tried to “save” their family members and different problems crop up that do not happen when preaching to strangers. Family members may say or do things just to please the preacher without real commitment, evangelists care far more about family members than about strangers, confronting and humiliating family members with Are you a good person? can be problematic as the evangelist is calling a family member a lying thief. Ray and Kirk tell stories about difficulties they personally had when they witnessed to specific family members. Ray and Kirk suggest a different tactic, telling the relative the evangelist is a lying adulterous thief, then asking, “But what about you?” They also suggest leading a “blameless life” to prevent the family accusing one of hypocrisy, this could lead to yet more guilt tripping since no human being can live blamelessly.

God is supposedly Omnipotent and Omnibenevolent but somehow God needs us to preach to family members and strangers and cannot always save them on his own.

Next Kirk talks to someone he calls Gran with a 'shawl', grey hair in a female style and a lady’s fan though we see only the back. It turns out Kirk is talking to Ray Comfort dressed partly in drag with a wig in a ladies hairstyle, the shawl may be something neutral like a table cloth or lace curtain but the intention clearly is female impersonation. Kirk pinches Ray’s cheek and asks, “Isn’t she cute?”

By no means are all drag artists gay, but drag is well known as part of the gay scene. Anyone with even partial knowledge of the gay community knows that when gay men look at something like Ray and Kirk acting together with Ray pretending to be Kirk’s "gran", some will ask themselves, “Could Ray and Kirk possibly find me cute too?” Stereotyping gay men would be unwise as is stereotyping any human beings but some are likely to wonder about Ray or Kirk pinching their cheeks the same way and more. We must assume Ray and Kirk work to bring gay men to repentance if gay men contact them. For Ray and Kirk’s followers the alternative is likely too painful to contemplate. This show does not prove conclusively that Ray and/or Kirk are gay but both are certainly encouraging gay men to, 'lust after them in their hearts'. According to Ray and Kirk's theology looking at someone with lust is damnable and equivalent to adultery so viewers may wonder about the sincerity of these two.

Next they talk to and frighten a lady called Rena, we do not see enough of the interviewer to see which it is. Rena agrees that she has lied, has blasphemed, (as Ray Comfort defines both) and has looked at men with lust. She hopes God will forgive her because she believes in Christianity. When asked whether she would end up in heaven or hell if she were to die now she hopes somewhere in between.

It seems Rena has been influenced by Roman Catholics since Catholics believe in somewhere in between, Purgatory and also believe human beings cannot know if they are saved. According to Catholicism assuming that we are saved is the sin of presumption.

The interviewer frightens her again by insisting there is no in between and adds she will not be saved unless she trusts God completely.

If the theology of Ray and Kirk is correct whether someone like Rena spends eternity in heaven or hell depends on whether anyone like the interviewer accosts her and explains to her what she needs to be saved. Further her eternal salvation depends on whether or not she believes what the person who accosts her says.

By contrast if the Roman Catholics are correct Rena’s salvation could depend on no one accosting her and telling her the, ‘trust God and you are saved’ system, alternatively her salvation could depend on her not believing what Catholics teach is a damnable heresy.

Either system shows god as arbitrary and capricious rather than perfectly just.

Ray and Kirk suggest making an agreement with a Christian friend that each will witness to members of the other’s the family, that way social tensions within one’s own family are avoided, they give examples when Ray witnessed to members of Kirk's family and Kirk witnessed to members of Ray's family. They also say, “Be rich in good works” as before your family will notice whether you practise what you preach. They also say don’t pressure your loved ones, “Trust in the Lord and he will reward you.”

How does the idea that God brings a person’s family members to him fit with the idea that Human beings have free will and freely choose to accept or reject God? As so often happens Christians overlook the contradiction.

Witnessing to one’s children

Ray and Kirk say bringing one’s own children to be Christian should be easier than saving adults.

Children have not developed critical thinking yet and cannot see easily when adults are teaching them something unreasonable.

As with adults they suggest setting as Christian example, they further suggest having family devotions regularly each day. Fathers and single mothers should see to it that time is set aside each day for bible study and religious study ending with a prayer. Twenty minutes is suggested as the attention span of children is short.

Note the unequal role of the sexes, the man of the house should lead religious activity unless there is no man in the household. Keeping sessions short for young children is a good idea and prevents boredom.

Atheist parents wanting to teach their children critical thinking may do well to remember to keep sessions short. Critical thinking sessions need not be done daily.

Children should be taught the Ten Commandments, Comfort gives the same list as Iron Chariots though different Christians have different versions of the Commandments.

This is done so the children will early on learn to see themselves as sinners unable to keep the commandments and can be the start of a lifetime of guilt.

Unsuccessful witnessing

Viewers who have witnessed and failed are told that they may need to apologise if they used the wrong approach and to “remember salvation is of the Lord”.

It has already been pointed out how this contradicts teachings on free will.

External links

The Way of the Master
Season One Episodes:

1. The Firefighter   2. The Mirror of the Ten Commandments   3. The Motive of the Sinner   4. The Summary of Salvation   5. Practice What You Preach   6. Idolatry—The Darling Sin of Humanity   7. The Beauty of a Broken Spirit—Atheism   8. WDJD?   9. Blasphemy, Sabbath, Parents   10. Murder   11. Adultery   12. Theft   13. Lie and Covet

Season Two Episodes:

1. God's Wonderful Plan   2. Conscience   3. Alcatraz, Al Capone, Alcohol   4. True and False Conversion   5. When Things Go Wrong   6. The Satanic Influence   7. How to Witness to Someone Who's Homosexual/Gay   8. Evolution   9. How to Witness to a Loved One   10. The Fear of God   11. Ice Breakers—Gospel Tracts   12. The Greatest Gamble  13. How to Get on Fire for God

Season Three Episodes:

1. Battle for the Lost   2. Where Has the Passion Gone?   3. Joe Average   4. Caught in a Lie   5. The Divine Butler   6. Why Christianity?   7. Jehovah's Witness   8. Mormonism   9. Are You A Genius?   10. Last Words of the Rich and Famous   11. How to Find God's Will   12. What Scares You   13. Hollywood Be Thy Name

Cast
Ray Comfort — Kirk Cameron

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